Indiana University Bloomington
Arts and Sciences News at Indiana University Bloomington

IMP Awards for 2011-2012

Scientist, designer, and scholar/activist are honored

Posted: Friday, August 31, 2012

The Individualized Major Program has announced the winners of its 2011-12 IMP senior awards.

The Outstanding Senior Project Award is given to students whose final projects are judged to be the most outstanding of a given year and to epitomize the intellectual or creative energy that the IMP tries to foster. Two recipients were selected this year:

Beth Reinke (BA'12) was selected for her paper "The Effects of Eutrophication on the Painted Turtle, Chrysemys Picta."  Beth’s IMP major in zoology was supervised by faculty sponsor David Polly of the Department of Geological Sciences. For her final project, Beth carried out two summers of field research in the Wisconsin lakes and secured more than $15,000 in research grants. She is the principal author of a published, peer-reviewed paper based on this research and has presented her findings at conferences in the U.S. and England. "Beth's final project was of the standard I would expect from a Master’s or Ph.D. student, and that it makes a lasting contribution to the field, providing valuable data needed to understand the impact of environmental changes caused by humans," said Polly. In addition to her individualized major, Beth completed the Certificate in Animal Behavior and three minors. She will attend graduate school at Dartmouth College in the fall.

Linda Xiong (BA'12) was selected for her fashion line Pique. Linda's major in fashion design was supervised by faculty sponsors Kathleen Rowold and Deborah Christiansen of the Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design. Pique, a resort line of clothing inspired by the style of Brigitte Bardot. According to Linda's sponsors, her fashion line was distinguished by “the research background she included, the quality of the designs themselves, the details she included that created a cohesive story, the creative and polished photographic lookbook and apparel production documents she produced, and the accompanying well-conceived and well-written analytic statement…she challenged herself with unusual technical details and employed complex construction techniques that went beyond our standard expectations.”  Linda was among the last seven students to graduate with individualized majors in fashion design, which is offered as a BA major in AMID beginning in the fall of 2012.  Another notable achievement of her undergraduate career is designing the winning entry in the contest to select IU's "official plaid."

The Richard D. Young Award is given to a student whose combination of overall academic excellence, outstanding final project, and community engagement exemplifies the ideals that IMP exists to nurture. This year’s recipient, Ronak Shah (BA'12), combined an individualized major in conflict resolution (supervised by faculty sponsor Ellen Dwyer of the Department of Criminal Justice) with a BS in cognitive science. Ronak is a Wells Scholar and recipient of the Elvis J. Stahr Distinguished Senior Award.  He is the founder of Rethinking Incarceration, a discussion group and film series that promotes alternatives to prison. He is also a founding member of DREAM at IU, a student organization dedicated to advocating for the rights of undocumented students and opposing anti-immigrant legislation and of GlobeMed at IU, which partners with grassroots organizations around the world to address health inequities in impoverished communities.  He has served as a mediator at Bloomington’s Community Justice and Mediation Center, an associate justice of IU’s Student Body Supreme Court, and chair of the Board of Educational Programming at Collins Living-Learning Center. Ronak’s final project for the IMP was a thesis exploring non-violence training in Jain communities, for which he conducted three months of research in India.

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